The House System at St. Christopher’s
In the Summer of 1996 the then Headmaster ( Mr. Attwood-Bloomfield ) decided that it would be a good idea to resurrect the House System at St. Christopher’s. Two Houses (Campbell and Johnson) already existed, but had lapsed, and two more were created (Blyton and Hillary) to fulfil the needs of the growing school.
In September 1996 the 4 Houses officially started and all still exist, with about 65 members each, under the Leadership of Mr. Woodhead (Johnson), Mrs. Sloper (Campbell), Miss Arnott (Blyton) and Mrs. Purton (Hillary).
The purpose of the Houses is for pupils and staff to share a sense of belonging, and to offer pastoral care to the members. All staff, except for the PE department, Head, Deputy and office staff, are assigned to Houses and attend meetings with the pupils, where their timetable allows them to. Support is given by House members at sporting events such as Sports Day, Swimming Gala and House Football, Netball, Rugby, Cricket and Rounders.
Each House has a House Captain, and Sports Captains for Girls’ Games and Boys’ Games – all elected by its members. In the Summer Term, the year 5 pupils write their manifesto, which they deliver at a House Meeting, and the voting follows. It is a great honour to be selected, and over the years all our Captains have worked hard, and shown their House Members that they were a wise choice.
All pupils receive Housepoints for good work, acts of kindness, achievements, manners etc. Demerits can be given for misdemeanours, but these are few and far between, as a system of warnings and other punishments is worked through first.
Background to House names
Named after the children’s author Enid Blyton. Enid was a pupil at The Hall School, which merged with St. Christopher’s, and was Head Girl from 1913-1914. She can be seen in several photographs currently on display in the school. According to her daughter who visited the school in the late 1990s, the St. Clare’s books are based on her mother’s time at St. Christopher’s.
Thomas Campbell was a visitor to the private home which stood where the school now is, during the Napoleonic period. It is alleged that he composed his famous poem Ye Mariners of England whilst sitting in the grounds under a tulip tree – which is still a feature of the lower school playground.
Sir Edmund Hillary was an acquaintance of a member of staff at the school, and shortly after returning from his journey to the top of Mount Everest he called into the school to visit the staff and pupils.
Dr. Samuel Johnson, the creator of the first dictionary, is reported to have stayed at the private house that now forms the front building of our school.
The Houses represent characters from History who achieved within their own field and can be used as inspiration for the pupils. The inclusion of a woman is particularly important, as for many years St. Christopher’s was a girls’ school.